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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Josh O'Brien

Virgil van Dijk's bitter response to Argentina defeat speaks volumes on World Cup exit

Virgil van Dijk has insisted he won't watch any more of the Qatar World Cup after the Netherlands suffered a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat by a Lionel Messi -led Argentina.

It was a thrilling encounter that saw Louis van Gaal's Oranje fight back from two goals down in the final 20 minutes to send the game into extra-time courtesy of a brace from Wout Weghorst. After the extra half an hour failed to separate them, the tie went to the dreaded spot-kicks.

Van Dijk was first up for his nation and while the Liverpool defender is usually fairly reliable from 12 yards, this time he saw his effort saved by Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez who was in inspired form between the sticks for La Seleccion.

Steven Berghuis was up next for the Netherlands, but he too saw his penalty thwarted by Martinez and eventually Lautaro Martinez netted Argentina's fifth penalty to seal the fate of both nations as Argentina booked their place in the last four where they will take on Croatia.

Van Dijk is one figure who won't be tuning in, as he revealed during his post-match media duties. Pressed for comment over whether he thinks Argentina will go on to win the World Cup, he fired back: "I don’t care. I won’t watch any more."

The clash was an ill-tempered affair, with a number of bust-ups between opposition players taking place as the game went on. It was Van Dijk who floored Leandro Paredes after the Juventus loanee booted the ball into the Dutch bench after hacking down Nathan Ake.

Virgil van Dijk was dejected after the penalty shoot-out defeat by Argentina ((Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images))

HAVE YOUR SAY! Will Argentina go all the way and win the World Cup? Comment below

Van Dijk refused to comment on some of Argentina's antics come full-time, but it was clear that everyone associated with the Netherlands national team was furious with the way their opponents conducted themselves.

There was even some altercations after the penalty shoot-out had been decided, with Argentine defender Nicolas Otamendi turning round to goad the crestfallen Dutch players before darting off to celebrate Martinez's winning spot-kick.

Remarkably, the tensions continued even while the players were participating in their media duties, with Argentine icon Messi caught on camera asking a member of the Dutch camp: "what are you looking at, fool" before an interview.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner was just as seething with referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz, as Messi bemoaned: "I don’t want to speak about referees because after they will sanction you.

"But people saw what happened. I think Fifa must take care of this, it cannot put a referee like that for a match of such magnitude, of such importance.

"The referee cannot fail to be up to the task. A lot of joy and relief. It wasn’t to go to penalty kicks. We suffered too much for how it all happened. But the it’s the quarter finals of the World Cup."

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